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{\rtf1\ansi {\colortbl;\red0\green0\blue0;\red0\green0\blue255;\red0\green255\blue255;\red0\green255\blue0;\red255\green0\blue255;\red255\green0\blue0;\red255\green255\blue0;\red255\green255\blue255;}{\fonttbl{\f0\froman\cpg0\fcharset0 Times New Roman;}{\f1\fswiss\cpg0\fcharset0 Arial;}{\f2\froman\cpg1252\fcharset0 Times New Roman;}{\f3\fswiss\cpg1252\fcharset0 Arial;}{\f4\froman\cpg1251\fcharset204 Times New Roman;}{\f5\fswiss\cpg1251\fcharset204 Arial;}{\f6\froman\cpg1250\fcharset238 Times New Roman;}{\f7\fswiss\cpg1250\fcharset238 Arial;}{\f8\froman\cpg1257\fcharset186 Times New Roman;}{\f9\fswiss\cpg1257\fcharset186 Arial;}{\f10\froman\cpg1254\fcharset162 Times New Roman;}{\f11\fswiss\cpg1254\fcharset162 Arial;}{\f12\froman\cpg1253\fcharset161 Times New Roman;}{\f13\fswiss\cpg1253\fcharset161 Arial;}{\f14\froman\cpg1255\fcharset177 Times New Roman;}{\f15\fswiss\cpg1255\fcharset177 Arial;}}{\stylesheet {\sbasedon222\f2\fs20 Normal;}}\paperw12240\paperh15840\margl3574\margr2871\margt1440\margb720 \sectd \sbknone\pgwsxn12240\pghsxn15840\marglsxn3574\margrsxn2871\margtsxn1440\margbsxn720\cols1\colsx60 \pard \plain \cbpat8\ql\li1627\fi0\ri0\sb0\sa0\tx5446 \f2\fs20{\b0\i0\cf1\charscalex100\expndtw4\f2\cchs0\lang1033\fs22 INSqpPTIONSs COINS{\charscalex100\expndtw0\tab }\expndtw0 7}\par \pard \plain \cbpat8\qj\li0\fi0\ri0\sb235\sa0\sl-235\slmult0 \f2\fs20{\b0\i0\cf1\charscalex100\expndtw-5\f2\cchs0\lang1033\fs25 number are also incised in Kharosthi running, like Arabic \expndtw-7 and Per sian, from right to left. Their decipherment,, which \expndtw2 is a marvel of scholarship, reveals that their object is \expndtw-3 to record a donation., public or private, or to comme\-\expndtw13 morate a great event, or the exploits of a con\-\expndtw-3 queror. The edicts of Asoka, containing his ethical \expndtw5 exhortations, are, of course, a class by themselves. \expndtw-5 The subject-matter of inscriptions is indeed very varied. \expndtw-3 There are even Sanskrit plays (e.g., at Dhar and Ajmer) \expndtw-1 and musical rules (e.g., at Kudimiyamalai, Pudukotta \expndtw0 State) recorded on stone. The importance of these \expndtw-4 documents can hardly be over-emphasised. They are \expndtw-5 extremely useful in fixing dates, and often regulate and \expndtw0 supplement what we learn from literature and other \expndtw4 sources. For instance, in the absence of such epigra- / \expndtw-1 phic evidence the veil of oblivion would hang heavily^ \expndtw9 even on rulers like Kharavela or Samudragupta\super 1\nosupersub , \expndtw-3 and our knowledge of the mediaeval Hindu dynasties \expndtw-4 would be altogether incomplete. Sometimes foreign \expndtw-3 inscriptions, too, unexpectedly lend us aid, Thus, the \expndtw4 Boghaz-Koi (Asia Minor) inscriptions, which men\-\expndtw6 tion Vedic gods, probably testify to the movements \expndtw2 of Aryan tribes. We have elsewhere referred to the \expndtw8 contact of India with ancient Iran, and curiously it \expndtw1 is confirmed by inscriptions discovered at Persepolis \expndtw-2 and Naksh-i-Rustam\super 2\nosupersub . Similarly, inscriptions throw a flood of light on the political and cultural relations be\-\expndtw-3 tween India and the Far East in early times, \expndtw-77\loch\af0\hich\af0\dbch\f2\cchs0 \'95\'bb}\par \pard \plain \cbpat8\ql\li10\fi0\ri0\sb58\sa0 \f2\fs20{\b0\i\cf1\charscalex82\expndtw-4\f2\cchs0\lang1033\fs26 Coins}\par \pard \plain \cbpat8\ql\li461\fi0\ri0\sb134\sa0 \f2\fs20{\b0\i0\cf1\charscalex100\expndtw8\f2\cchs0\lang1033\fs25 The next guides, we may   appeal to, are coins.}\par }